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Discover how GBSN Research worked with a premium vodka brand to draw meaning from customers reviews and determine brand perception.

Social Listening Consumer Goods

The Problem

A premium vodka brand was struggling to draw meaning from an abundance of online chatter. It needed to understand brand perception by drawing context and meaning from thousands of online reviews and then turn the raw data into more useful metrics to guide strategic decision making around the world.

Understanding conversations surrounding its brand would also unlock greater sales potential, allow for trend identification, make patterns easier to spot, pinpoint any product issues and empower the brand to better understand regional differences then react accordingly.

The Solution

GBSN analysed 2500 customer reviews across multiple sources – including Expedia, Amazon, TripAdvisor and – to determine brand perception and give context to consumer conversations. We worked to:

Consumer feedback and conversation is a treasure trove of intelligence for brands who wish to make more strategic decisions and better serve their consumers but, this first requires the ability to sift through potentially millions of conversations and assign structure, relevance and meaning to the data.

By understanding what consumers are saying, how they view the brand and where and when they consume the product, it is possible to derive meaningful, actionable insights. This information can be used to drive product improvement, increase conversions, identify opportunities and mitigate challenges.

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Our analysis meant we were able to give the brand a full intelligence report, packed with insight to allow for better decision making, inform product development and assistance with brand messaging. The comprehensive deep dive into consumer perception allowed us to:


Identify the most important conversation drivers (price, product quality and packaging) for our client.


Pinpoint regional patterns, to understand how brand perception differs from one country to the other, across eight key markets including the UK, USA, China and Brazil. This is critical for the brand as it empowers them to make appropriate decisions at a local level.


Identify brand challenges and opportunities, allowing for more effective marketing, smart product development and improved consumer communications.


Understand product trends so the brand knows with certainty which products are mentioned most frequently, which competitor products are mentioned most frequently and which drinks/cocktails are mentioned most frequently.


Determine context and assess the overall consumer perception for each conversation driver. This gave the brand a big picture understanding of what consumers think about their vodka, what they say to others about the brand, how they rate product quality and where they buy from. It also revealed differences in behaviour and opinion between consumers who drink the vodka at home and those who consume it in locations such as hotels, bars and restaurants – this knowledge can be used to inform relationships with hospitality businesses, be used across branding and marketing and help to benchmark against competitors.

Key Insights

GBSN drew meaning and context from an analysis of 2500 customer reviews across multiple sources and markets to present the client with actionable key insights to drive appropriate action in line with their overall brand objectives.


Our analysis identified a number of key challenges facing the premium vodka product, with a proportion of client reviews focused on the perceived high cost of the beverage, with no point of difference from cheaper alternatives.

We also discovered that some consumers felt frustrated when their expectation that the vodka would be available at a prestige resort or bar was not met.

Finally, poorly crafted cocktails using the vodka were found to be a negative for consumers, with their experience associated with the brand rather than the bartender or venue itself.


Having worked to understand challenges facing the brand, we worked to identify opportunities and ways to turn some of the challenges into positive new areas of activity. The annoyance some consumers felt when their premium vodka selection was used in a disappointing cocktail suggested for example that consumers closely correlate this brand with well-prepared beverages, crafted with skill by a mixologist.

It also became clear that the overall bottle branding and product image places this vodka firmly in the premium category with associations of luxury and finesse – something that could be used to develop additional prestige partnerships and products.

Although some consumers were put off by the higher price tag, others felt this was an indicator of a well made product, meaning the cost of consumption isn’t a deal breaker for the target market.

Consumer Habits

Drinks consumption fell broadly into two categories; on the rocks with a twist or, used as part of a cocktail.

Packaging and bottle design was identified as being of primary importance to Chinese consumers.

When enjoyed at home, the vodka is a status symbol, especially during parties. Outside of the home, it is the vodka of choice for discerning consumers who want to choose a cocktail they can be confident they will enjoy.


Knowing that some consumers felt frustrated when the brand wasn’t available at a bar or restaurant, or was but was used poorly, it became clear that there was an opportunity to develop stronger relationships with bartenders and seek out venues preferred by the target demographic.

To ensure the desired quality of the end product, the brand subsequently developed its own proprietary draft or tap system for mixed drinks.

Additional Resources

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